III.armatures = machined
The armature parts for "Roland Montague" had to be made using jigs and templates such as a bar with slots cut into it that correspond to the length of the arm segments, that allowed making the various parts without re-measuring and marking each cut and hole. A vice is used to pre-bend the brass piece that is also set up to space and square the part automatically. The bent brass is help tightly against the template and sawed to length. The pieces are drilled and polished on an abrasive wheel, followed by a diamond sharpener, then polished to a mirror finish using a synthetic ruby stone.
The individual pieces are joined using the machine screw, nylon washer, and aircraft nut sandwich, which enable the arms to be repositioned by moving the hand. By pushing and pulling the joints, they follow to maintain an anatomically correct position. What makes the armature move smoothly from position to position is thevariation ofresistance between the joints. The ones closest to the body are tighterand they become progressively less tight in the wrists or ankles which are the farthest away.
The next step involves sawing cold rolled steel to the proper lengths with a miniature cut off saw, this will become a ball socket. The socket is cut using a tool called a Unimate. This takes several steps until a polished socket is smooth enough to accept the ball which is silver soldered to a threaded rod making it rigid in relationship to the bar that attaches to the leg. Stops were added to the two steel sockets in order to prevent the doll from moving into unnatural positions which could also cause it to fall. The joint is mounted to the steel leg and plywood torso. The leg is welding steel that is bent in a jig and mounted to the base which has a heavy metal plate mounted under the wood to counterbalance the armature. In stop motion, you actually are mounting the puppet through holes drilled into the set.
This type of armature helps to develop character in much the same way mimes used their bodies to convey their character. In stop motion these positions are called extremes, the actions are broken down into increments that, when filmed a frame at a time, produced the desired motion.
< Same armature is used for "ElviSan"